Awards, Conventions

IHSPA honors scholastic journalism excellence


February 9, 2022

The Indiana High School Press Association is proud to announce the following winners of the organization’s annual awards. These individuals were recognized Friday, Jan. 28 during the state high school journalism convention at Franklin College.


Ella Sengenberger Indiana Adviser of the Year

Presented in the name of Ella Sengenberger, a nationally recognized adviser at Indianapolis Technical High School and one of IHSPA’s founding members, this award honors an educator for years of service to scholastic journalism, achievements derived from advising student media, and inspiration to students, colleagues, and community. 

2022 Ella Sengenberger Indiana Adviser of the Year Ada Clark (left) and IHSPA President Lauren Wagner
photo by Tabby Fitzgerald, Franklin College

WINNER: Ada Clark, Mooresville High School Student Media Adviser

“Mrs. Clark is one of the most caring and wise educators I’ve ever encountered. She helps her publication teams to create outstanding work and she not only treats us like students, but like we’re her family. She makes sure all of her students are included in everything and she makes her class a safe space for everyone. She is extremely compassionate, yet keeps it professional.”
–Staysha Anderson, Mooresville High School Student

“Mrs. Clark has made me feel like I fit in. She made it a point to include me, make me feel like I was doing something important, and like I finally had a place where I could truly be me without being judged. She truly deserves to be recognized for what she has done. She makes students feel important and she makes them feel like what they are doing is important and that is something I have not felt in a while. I am so thankful for Mrs Clark in my life and I know she truly deserves this award.”
–Jada Schoolcraft, Mooresville High School Student


IHSPA Indiana Administrator of the Year

The Indiana High School Press Association annually recognizes a building or district-level administrator who has made outstanding contributions to scholastic journalism within their school and the state of Indiana. This individual should be someone who not only respects the First Amendment rights of their students, but supports these journalists and their adviser when they are threatened for practicing these freedoms in student media.

2022 IHSPA Indiana Administrator of the Year Brian Knight (center) and the student journalists from Southport High School
photo by Sam Hanley, Southport High School

WINNER: Brian Knight, Southport High School Principal

“Principal Brian Knight has consistently been a friend to scholastic journalism at Southport High School. The student media programs have thrived at our school during his tenure as principal. His support and cooperation have played a big part in that success. Mr. Knight always makes himself available to Southport student journalists, and he respects them enough to give them complete candor. There have been issues of The Journal when four or five students on staff have asked to schedule interviews with him. He finds time for them all. Three years ago, Sam Hanley (our yearbook adviser) and I approached our administration about giving kids the opportunity to take Journalism for English credit. Mr. Knight and the rest of the administrative team was on board with the idea from the outset. Thanks to his support, we now offer a one-semester version of Journalism as an elective and a full-year version for English credit.”
–Mike Klopfenstein, Southport High School Newspaper Adviser

“Mr. Knight’s support for student journalists was made obvious to me even as a rookie reporter. I remember going to the national convention in Chicago and being told that he had donated money to our trip to cover a nice dinner for everyone. Mr. Knight didn’t have to do that, but that’s just the kind of person and administrator he was and continues to be. He went out of his way with a small act of kindness to let our advisers and staffers know that he cared.”
–Elizabeth Valadez, Former Southport High School Student

“It is my honor to recommend Brian Knight of Southport High School for the IHSPA Admin of the Year award. While I have been out of high school for a few years now, I still carry with me the lessons that he taught me of leadership and determination. I remember several times when we were doing stories on controversial topics, he never censored a single one of them. In fact, several times he helped point us in the direction of the best sources within the building and the township. Mr. Knight creates a culture of promoting student journalists, and because of him we are able to learn and thrive in the field. I have no reservations recommending him for this award.”
–Andrew Tapp, former Southport High School Student


Dr. Louis E. Inglehart Friend of the Student Press

Presented in honor of Dr. Louis Ingelhart, professor emeritus at Ball State University, the Friends of the High School Press Award recognizes his invaluable contributions to scholastic journalism at the state and national levels and his outstanding service, advice and friendship to journalism educators. This award, presented by the IHPSA, is given to someone who is not a present adviser of any high school publication, but has made an outstanding contribution to scholastic journalism education and to Indiana scholastic journalism in particular.

2022 Ingelhart Friend of the Student Press Award Winner Ann Barton (right) and IHSPA President Lauren Wagner
photo by Tabby Fitzgerald, Franklin College

WINNER: Ann Barton, Franklin College Pulliam School of Journalism Assistant Director

“Ann Barton has contributed to scholastic journalism on multiple levels for many years. As an important cog in the Franklin College Pulliam School of Journalism machine, Ann’s contributions include teaching, advising, program and convocation planning and supporting her colleagues. Ann stays connected to her students long after they graduate. Many appreciate the effort she makes to connect them with internships and possible employment. In addition, Ann has attended IHSPA fall conferences throughout her tenure (during her fall break) often as the PSJ presence and the person with institutional background to solve site challenges that may arise during the convention.”
–Diana Hadley, Former IHSPA Executive Director


2022 Ingelhart Friend of the Student Press Award Winner Dr. Johnny Sparks (right) and IHSPA President Lauren Wagner
photo by Tabby Fitzgerald, Franklin College

WINNER: Dr. Johnny Sparks, Ball State Journalism Department Chair

“What brought me such great joy as a second-year faculty member and director of Journalism Workshops is that Johnny brought his passion to and belief in the program! He genuinely loves welcoming young people to campus at Journalism Days and Summer Workshops openings and would stay for the entire program! He especially likes meeting middle and high school students one-on-one or in small groups to hear their stories. He was a one-man show at national conventions, and kids were drawn to his passion for their passions! He presented sessions and stayed after to answer questions. His love for scholastic journalists prompted him to expand our Workshops office into an internal public relations bureau for the department. We also sent our students to work with high school staffs at their schools and even developed a relationship with an IPS school to build a journalism program there, lasting through 2021. This could not have happened without Johnny’s support of and commitment to scholastic journalism, making him an excellent choice for the Louie Ingelhart Friend of Scholastic Journalism Award!”
–Kim Green, Former Ball State Journalism Workshops Director

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